Winter into spring

While the rest of the country suffers through massive winter storms, we've been lucky here in Sisters country. Except for a cold snap in early January our winter has been mild, with some sunshine present almost every day. But yesterday our walk took us into the heart of a weather war.

Walking east along the long asphalt path that edges the route to McKenzie Pass we looked right to see nothing but whiteout conditions. All was hidden but the storm, from which buffeting winds carried thick snow that melted as it struck. A pale sun worked hard to break through but the storm prevailed.

On our left was a wide expanse of azure blue sky and bright sunlit patches brightening the forest floor. Our path was apparently the dividing line between winter and spring, and though the battle shifted throughout our hour-long walk, winter eventually prevailed.

This morning's walk was different. A light dusting of snow was already melting on the black asphalt and the sun shone from ear to ear except where trees lined the path and cast their morning shadows. These were filled with a thin layer of frozen snow. Some were so perfectly outlined it felt like sacrilege to trod on them, but trod I did.

And I felt a bit guilty. So easily do we cast aside these gifts of nature, like wondrous blinking signs reminding us over and over to pay attention, get out of our heads, and stay mindful. And nature is close here; I have no excuse.

The weather yesterday reminded me of a favorite poem by Nikki Giovanni. I can't improve on her words so I'll leave you with it.

Winter Poem

once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved 
it so much and i kissed 
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower